When Someone Dies in a Hospice

Hospices around the country provide care for around 200,000 patients each year and the specialist support that they give to not only patients but their families makes a significant difference. More often than not they have helped the person who has died and the family to prepare for the death as they also provide spiritual care, practical and financial care and bereavement care.

From government figures on end of life care just 5.7% of people die as in-patients in hospices and when someone does die in the hospice the hospice will initially guide the family and they follow a well organised process.

More often than not the family will have already chosen a Funeral Director prior and will have also decided upon if the funeral will be a Cremation or a Burial.

When the person dies the Hospice will:

  • The Hospice Doctor will complete the Medical Certificate stating the cause of death to enable the family to Register the Death. The Medical Certificate will be given to the family directly, along with details on how to register the death.
  • Contact the Funeral Director and arrange for them to come to take the person who has died to the funeral home. Unless the family wants to, at this stage the family will not meet the funeral director’s staff, what will normally happen is that the Funeral Director will make contact with the family (normally by an initial phone call).
  • If the funeral is going to be a cremation then the Hospice Doctor will complete the first part of the Cremation Form and give it to the Funeral Directors when they arrive at the hospice. The Hospice Doctor will then arrange for a second Doctor to complete the Cremation Forms at the Funeral Directors premises.

The Funeral Directors will attend the hospice and the Hospice staff always assist with and oversee the transfer of care from them to the Funeral Directors.

Relatives of people who have died in a Hospice will have the support of the Hospice Bereavement Service.